USGS: Over 9 million downloads for free Landsat data

Screenshot of the USGS Global Visualization Viewer

The use of Landsat data has exploded since the United States Geological Survey (USGS) began distributing the data at no cost via the internet. In the best sales year, around 25,000 images were sold. The Landsat project has now exceeded that number in a single day. In fact, the 9 millionth image was distributed on September 1, 2012. It has taken less than 4 years to reach this mark, which demonstrates both the temporal and geographic expansion of Landsat-based research, as well as exposure to new communities that are exploring the 40 years of global Landsat data for the first time.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 12/09/2012 - 08:00

USGS reconsiders crowdsource mapping programme

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is examining the restoration of its popular volunteer mapping program, The National Map Corps. In light of swiftly changing technical landscapes and increasing uses of social networking, the USGS is exploring a new approach to the volunteer program, and is launching a project to test options for volunteer participation in providing data to The National Map. Volunteer mapping programmes had been suspended in 2008 in order to explore new methods for using volunteer data.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 22/08/2012 - 09:11

NASA maps location and faults of Iran earthquakes

On August 11, 2012 two strong earthquakes shook Iran. The NASA Earth Observatory image shows earthquake locations, magnitudes and faults that are superimposed on a digital elevation map, made from the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2 (GDEM2) using earthquake and plate tectonics data from the USGS Earthquake Hazard Program.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 14/08/2012 - 09:41

USGS rolls out new LandsatLook Viewer

On 23 July 2012 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) made available their new LandsatLook Viewer. It allows comprehensive searching and downloading of full-resolution LandsatLook images, along with access to Level 1 Data Products. Users can find their area of interest by the text-based search tool in the upper right or by panning and zooming around the globe. The Select Scene button will activate when zooming in to a 1:1M resolution or closer. The default scene search uses TM and ETM+ imagery from 1999 to present at 20% cloud cover.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 30/07/2012 - 09:49

NASA celebrates 40 years of Earth Observation

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EDT, Monday, July 23, to highlight the accomplishments of the world's longest-running Earth-observing satellite program - Landsat. The briefing will be held at the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, and feature extensive imagery of our changing planet and local U.S. landscapes.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 18/07/2012 - 12:21

january-2012 updates

Issue Date: 

Fri, 03/02/2012



• The UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal gets a new look


Landsat 5 Mission in Jeopardy

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has stopped acquiring images from the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite due to a rapidly degrading electronic component.

Landsat 5 was launched in 1984 and designed to last 3 years. The USGS assumed operation of Landsat 5 in 2001 and managed to bring the aging satellite back from the brink of total failure on several occasions following the malfunction of key subsystems. There is now an increasing likelihood that the Landsat 5 mission is nearing its end.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 21/11/2011 - 11:00

Landsat image maps aid fire recovery efforts

NASA satellite images regularly map active fires around the world. Once a fire is out, satellite data and maps are also used by scientists to measure and protect the scorched land, and have played an important role in streamlining fire recovery efforts. The Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC), operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and other national agencies that specialize in fire recovery use Landsat 5 and 7 satellite data to observe vegetation, water and soil changes after a fire.

Publishing Date: 

Thu, 25/08/2011 - 11:15

June 2011

Advancing regional cooperation at the PAIGH/USGS Crisis Workshop in Panama

The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) organized a Crisis Workshop during the annual meeting of the Commissions of PAIGH. The workshop took place on 13 and 14 June 2011 in Panama.


Publishing Date: 

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 20:09

Referenced UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 


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